National Grid Foundation Increases Heating Assistance Funds to Support Even More Families

January 16, 2015

National Grid Foundation celebrates giving more than $1 million over 10 years to United Way partners; 2015 grant awards $150,000 to meet rising need in local communities.

United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and the National Grid Foundation today announced that United Way will receive a grant of $150,000 to help local families with heating assistance, a significant increase over the $90,000 awarded last year.  The additional support comes as many families struggle to meet the rising cost of fuel and face recent extreme cold temperatures.

This year’s grant brings the total amount of National Grid Foundation’s support to $1.1 million over 10 years, helping more than 10,000 local families with heating assistance in that time. The funds are distributed through United Way’s Family Fund, which helps struggling families across Eastern Massachusetts make ends meet by assisting with basic needs such as heating, food, and housing.

“We’ve all felt the effects of extreme winter cold, but for many families who are struggling, the question of whether to put food on the table or heat your home is a serious reality,” said Michael Durkin, President of United Way Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley.  “The steadfast support from the National Grid Foundation shows a true commitment to working families and will have a real impact on many lives this winter.”

National Grid Foundation, United Way, and ABCD celebrate the grant award.

National Grid Foundation, United Way, and ABCD celebrate the BIG CHECK.

“United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and Action for Boston Community Development serve as beacons of hope as they continue to fulfill their mission to protect Boston’s most vulnerable residents. We urge the public to join us in providing the gift of warmth to our friends and neighbors, during the coldest part of the year,” said Bob Keller, President of the National Grid Foundation.

The announcement was made at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) in Boston, one of several local agencies which will receive funding from the grant to help local families with heating assistance.  ABCD manages the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Boston, Brookline and Newton and this year in seven communities north of Boston including Malden, Medford, Everett, Melrose, Stoneham, Winchester and Woburn. ABCD fuel assistance directors anticipate serving more than 26,000 households this winter.  ABCD will receive $35,000 from the Family Fund and the National Grid Foundation Grant to support their heating assistance program.

“We are grateful for the support from United Way and the National Grid Foundation as we continue to offer this life-saving assistance,” said John J. Drew, ABCD President/CEO. “Funds are desperately needed in this bitter January weather so that oil trucks can roll and make deliveries to the thousands of low-income households where residents are forced to choose between food, rent, medication and heat.”

The National Grid Foundation grant will benefit families in 5 communities through the following agencies:

  • Action for Boston Community Development
  • Cambridge Family and Children’s Service
  • Catholic Charities of Greater Boston
  • Greater Lawrence Community Action
  • Quincy Community Action Programs

The Family Fund provides an immediate response to families in financial crisis, investing in 26 community-based agencies across its service area to:

  • Expand the availability of emergency basic needs (heat, shelter, and food) assistance;
  • Build the capacity of partner agencies to provide these services; and
  • Provide seamless access to additional services through United Way’s Mass211 helpline.

***Families in need of heating assistance should call Mass211 helpline (dial 211) to be directed to their closest community resource.***

Find out more about how you can help support the Family Fund.